The Welsh Government has commissioned Strategic Research & Insight (SRI), an independent Cardiff-based research agency to interview stakeholders to explore establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales. SRI will be speaking to stakeholders in Welsh Government, local authorities and trade associations in Wales, as well as researching best practice in other countries, to consider:
• Whether developing a registration scheme or licensing scheme would be appropriate in Wales
• The options for how a scheme would be operated and delivered at national and/or local level
• Resources required for each of the best options
• How a scheme would support wider areas of Welsh Government policy such as housing and taxation
• Whether a scheme should merge or align with the existing Visit Wales grading scheme or follow the Rent Smart Wales model
They state that there are significant potential benefits of the scheme, including a level playing field for professional and amateur accommodation operators, and a much better oversight of the sector to inform decision-making in tourism, housing, environmental health and taxation. They also request that it will not be possible for SRI to speak to all tourism businesses as part of this work and businesses are being asked to channel comments through a representative body or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments. The WTA will be submitting a response.
First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS has announced that people will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from next month. The measure is being introduced to help control the spread of coronavirus – cases are currently very high in Wales, but the alert level will remain at zero for the next three weeks. Announcing the outcome of the latest 3-week review of the coronavirus regulations, he encouraged everyone to work from home whenever possible and to make sure they are fully vaccinated. The requirement to show an NHS COVID Pass will come into force from 11 October. It will mean all over-18s will need to have a NHS COVID Pass to enter:
Self-catering is an important component of the tourism industry in Wales. In order to fully understand its contribution, the Association of Scotland's Self-Caterers (ASSC) and the Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK (PASC UK) commissioned Frontline Consultants (Frontline) to carry out an independent Economic Impact Assessment of the self-catering industry in the UK. They also very kindly disaggregated the figures for Wales and have produced a separate report which very usefully illustrates the importance of Self Catering to the industry in Wales. The sector is worth over £173.1mn in total visitor spend and accounts for 0.7mn visitor nights.
For both the full UK and disaggregated Wales report see links below:
Embargoed: September 8, 2021
A new chair has been appointed to lead the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) which represents all sectors of tourism industry in Wales.
Suzy Davies officially takes over from Professor Andrew Campbell, who has spent more than three years in the voluntary post, on September 9. Mrs Davies is a former Conservative Member of the National Assembly for Wales, now known as Senedd Cymru.
Pembrokeshire-based Mr Campbell, a Professor of Practice in Tourism at the University of Wales Trinity St David and a tourism consultant, has helped steer the tourism industry through the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the most difficult periods in its history.
“Whilst it is with some sadness that I am stepping down, I warmly welcome Suzy Davies to the role,” he said. “With her distinguished background and in the knowledge that she will carry out the task with great gusto, I am confident that she will bring her own unique signature to the organisation.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to have made a contribution at such a challenging time and I wish to pay tribute to all tourism businesses and agencies in Wales for displaying such resilience in the face of profound adversity. We are hopefully sailing into calmer and more navigable waters now.
“My thanks also to all at the WTA for their support during the last three years, in particular the efforts of policy advocate, Adrian Greason-Walker for his valuable advice and counsel at all times.”
Mrs Davies was a regional Member of National Assembly for Wales for South Wales West from 2011 until earlier this year and served as Shadow Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Welsh Language. She also chaired the Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Tourism. After a career in both marketing and management, she became a solicitor and politician.
"Wales is ripe for further economic, environmentally savvy development and its visitor economy and tourism is core to that development,” she said. “After a lifelong desire for the world to see how wonderful this country is, I am excited to be joining such committed, experienced people who want to be part of a proud and successful Wales.
"The industry has risen to the challenge of Covid magnificently, but the surge in domestic visitor numbers this year cannot blind us to the fragility of the sector's infrastructure.
"Busy today is not the same as sustainable long term. We want the visitor economy to make a stable, balanced, desirable and valuable contribution to the nation's collective wellbeing. Tourism, hospitality, skills providers and local authorities - and Welsh Government - all recognise the challenges and the opportunities.
"WTA is the collective voice of the industry in Wales. Failure to listen to it will mean failure to meet those challenges or to capitalise on those opportunities - and none of us wants that.”
WTA board member, Barbara Griffiths, said: “Professor Campbell has gone above and beyond normal expectations over the last 18 months supporting the whole of the tourism industry in Wales, for which we are extremely grateful.
“We now look forward with great pleasure to working with Suzy Davies who has experience in the Senedd and whose family runs a tourism business.”
Andrew Campbell is a Professor of Practice in Tourism at the University of Wales Trinity St David and is a tourism consultant who is open to commissions and tourism research projects within both the private and public sectors. He sits on a wide variety of tourism related committees in both Wales and in his native county of Pembrokeshire.
For more information, please contact the WTA on 07749 785147 or email: email@example.com
The Home Office have issued a report on arrivals into the UK since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic up to August this year. Some of the key findings are:
‘Diolch’ - Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, thanks tourism and hospitality industry, staff and visitors ahead of the bank holiday weekend
With the last summer bank holiday and end of school holidays approaching, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething has thanked everyone for their efforts in keeping Wales safe over the summer. Amid increased customer demand from eased Covid-19 rules and more people choosing domestic holiday destinations this summer, Visit Wales' Addo campaign has been running since restrictions began to be lifted in March.
The campaign has encouraged the people of Wales and visitors to look after each other and to remain respectful of the countryside and the communities we visit. Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:
“We’ve all had a really important part to play to keep Wales, our visitors, workers and communities safe in what has been a very busy summer for the visitor economy in Wales.
“We want to thank everyone who has done their best to make sure that they have visited parts of Wales responsibly this summer. As we head towards the last bank holiday weekend of the summer, we’re expecting many places to continue to be busy so please look for quieter locations, plan your visit, use park and ride services, follow the countryside code and treat each other and the places you visit with respect to ensure that everyone can have a fantastic bank holiday weekend.
“Those working in the visitor economy have gone the extra mile to ensure that guests have a memorable experience – they deserve our thanks – and also our respect during these busy times. Covid is still here and the rising cases is a reminder that we all still need to follow the simple rules to stop the spread of the virus. Wash your hands, keep your distance and wear face coverings where appropriate.”
The Welsh Government has worked closely with a range of partners, including the national park and local authorities to help them plan carefully and safely, and put mitigation measures in place. Funding has been available to these authorities to support additional costs of managing increased visitor numbers.
The Wales Tourism Alliance is calling for the introduction of a Register of Pop-Up Campsites to help councils manage unlicensed camp site accommodation across Wales.
Although 56-day pop-up campsites are permitted under the Welsh Government’s relaxation of the General Permitted Development Order, the growth of new sites in some destinations has been pronounced, placing additional pressures on natural and built resources.
Andrew Campbell, Chair of WTA said, “Our call for a National Register has been made to help manage the unprecedented demand of visitors to many parts of Wales. At the moment we have little idea of the number of new sites that have emerged or the number of visitors that are staying in destinations. Such information would help plan and manage resources more effectively. Put simply, what you cannot measure, you cannot manage. Sustainable development is crucial for the success of this industry – and key to that is the protection of communities, culture and landscape”.
Unlike licensed sites, which require formal planning permission and adherence to statutory requirements, developments under the 28/56 Day Rule are not restricted to limits on visitor numbers.
Dorothy Panton, Managing Director of Caerfai Bay Caravan and Tent Park, St Davids said, “it has been an incredibly busy season and there can be no doubt that high visitor numbers in the area have been swelled by the increase in unlicensed enterprises operating under the 56 Day Rule. This has resulted in several notable impacts including lower than usual water pressure triggering the need to replenish the St Davids Glasfryn Reservoir by water tankers”.
On the issue of disparity between licensed and unlicensed sites, British Holiday and Home Parks Association Director General, Ros Pritchard commented, “whilst licensed businesses have to adhere to the conditions of licence and maintain quality standards, we have now come into direct competition with sites with no licence and little if any regulation. A level playing field is essential”.
The WTA believes that a register would also serve to help authorities monitor usage and any breaches to the 28/56 day time allowance.
Celtic English Academy (CEA), Cardiff, Wales, UK, is the first private sector company and first SME organisation in Wales, UK, to be awarded a Gold Standard FairPlay Employer Award by the inclusive working experts in the FairPlay Employer Team at Chwarae Teg.
ELT (English Language Teaching) has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the Covid-19 pandemic. Each year, UK ELT brings £1.4billion to the UK economy when 550,000 students, of all ages, come to the UK as educational visitors. As with tourism, international travel restrictions have had a devastating impact. The UK ELT sector is still in a state of survival at this stage, let alone recovery, despite the cautiously optimistic travel sector.
Andrew Campbell, Chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance states: “The pandemic has hit the tourism sector hard and especially for study travel organisations like CEA, who usually welcome international visitors from over 50 different nationalities a year. Achieving the award is a clear example of how valuable an organisation like CEA is – Wales and UK-wide educational tourism generates significant economic spend for local visitor economies, as well as promoting greater cultural understanding between nations and future opportunities”
Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the Covid crisis, Celtic English Academy’s Gold Award symbolises the Academy’s strengths in resiliency, adaptation and forward-thinking. Over the past 3 years, working with Chwarae Teg experts, they have actively; improved unconscious bias, recruitment and selection, gender pay gap, family friendly policies, and fostered a more inclusive working environment.
Then, harnessing opportunity in the face of crisis, CEA paved the way to further sustainable change over 2020-2021 by implementing agile working, improving internal communications and digitisation to enable increased productivity, better working relationships for all and enhancing work-life balance.
Shoko Doherty, Chief Executive Officer, Celtic English Academy, and Vice Chair, English UK expresses: “We have worked hard to achieve the Gold standard FairPlay Employer award by improving our HR and organisational culture over recent years and evidencing our solid commitment to fairness, inclusivity, wellbeing, and workplace flexibility. The award comes from an anonymous staff survey, and benchmarking, so I am humbled and honoured by the genuine feedback this brings that is testimony to our workplace”
ELT is an industry with great diversity. A language school is a microcosm of the world where people from a variety of backgrounds meet and learn together - not just language, but acquiring a better understanding of one another’s cultures, behaviours, customs, or religions.
Shoko adds: “In ELT we all have a responsibility towards diversity and inclusion. We have made it a priority and we hope our journey can inspire others. Even with the Gold Award, we know we can continue to go further still to building a brighter, fairer and more sustainable tomorrow”
As an independent, Welsh organisation, working internationally, the Academy has been growing since it was established in 2004. James Doherty, Owner, Celtic English Academy has long held the motto of “quality, consistency and fairness for all”. He has always valued creating a workplace that takes care of its staff, who in turn take care of Celtic’s customers – from students and their parents, to educational tour operators and partners, homestay hosts and suppliers.
Keith M Dunn OBE, President of the Consular Association in Wales and Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales said: “I have seen first-hand the difference that Celtic English Academy, and the UK ELT sector, makes to students’ lives. What they do is highly valuable in our globalised world of today and this award proves what a successful organisation they are. I offer my warmest congratulations”
Stephanie Griffiths, Commercial Director, Chwarae Teg, said: “I must congratulate everyone at Celtic English Academy. To achieve a Gold Award the client needs to be of a very high standard and their staff must also believe in those standards and really live and breathe the culture across the business. It’s testament to their dedication that they have also become a finalist in the FairPlay Employer category at the Chwarae Teg Womenspire Awards 2021.
“Future focussed employers like Celtic English Academy want to ensure their organisation provides the right environment for everyone to thrive and feel that they belong. Our FairPlay Employer service can make it happen by giving organisations and businesses a clear path to success.”
In addition, CEA was the first UK ELT centre to become a Real Living Wage Employer, joined the Welsh Government’s economic contract appraisal and holds a Wales Green Growth Pledge. They are committed to sustainability all-round.
WTA Member PASC UK is paying for a lobbying campaign to try and stop Insurers deducting Furlough and Business Rates Holidays from pay-outs. Lobbying has been extremely hard going and there is a need for some hard information and evidence. PASC is having meetings with UK politicians to discuss this issue, so if you have had deductions made from your pay-out on the above, please send the following to the firstname.lastname@example.org giving following details.
Amount of Furlough Deducted:
Amount of Business Rates Holiday deducted:
Alistair Handyside MBE
A campaign to encourage more people to work in the tourism and hospitality industry has been launched by Visit Wales, Welsh Government in response to nationwide staff shortages following the coronavirus pandemic. The call to arms focuses on highlighting the personal development opportunities, potential career paths, and tangible benefits on offer to people who could fill roles like front of house, chefs, waiters, housekeeping, as well as supervisory and management roles. For full details, visit the Working Wales website. More case studies and video stories will be added to the site in the coming weeks.
Advice on recruitment and work programmes, including apprenticeships, is available on the Skills Gateway.